Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B2393 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Comic book, gun, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Helicopter to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: May 2015 Other: Retooled from Alpha Bravo, Repainted as Vortex
While we got lots of new molds for the first two teams, recycled engineering was widespread when we got to the team of Protectobot Blades. While still pretty fantastic, he's a redeco with a new head. His teammates include a pair of new molds and a pair of fairly extensive "reshelled" vehicles with new deco and heads - which means if you bought the other ones, you know how to transform them. This figure is a pretty good one, although I will say the slightly metallic red plastic fits together tightly in limb and vehicle modes, and I do fear it might shatter down the road. Alpha Bravo didn't have this problem.
The robot mode is pretty good, and you have to give Hasbro credit for coming up with a design that pulls triple duty. The body is used for (at least) three unique characters - Blades, Alpha Bravo, and the forthcoming Vortex are all limb helicopters with giant wrist rockets. He has no problem holding his gun - the same one his siblings include - and his deco is not only different, but incredibly distinctive. The head is a new mold with a scowl and a blue face, as an added bonus he has painted dark blue eyes that really look fantastic. The metallic blue face brings out the detail quite nicely, and the articulation is just as great as his predecessor. Not counting the jointed "tail" on his back, he's got 13 joints which lets him move in a number of interesting ways. Well, not "interesting" so much as "expected." The actual number is low by modern toy standards, but given rising costs it's not a surprise there are no wrists or ankles here.
My only actual problem with the figure - beyond the overly tight fittings of the red parts - are the tight hip joints. It's hard to get some poses just right, but odds are you're going to leave him as a Defensor arm and never, ever notice this.
It's a chopper, baby! Transforming him is pretty much what you're used to for this range - the legs open up at the knee and wrap around the thighs. The waist turns. The head rotates. The arms go in. It's pretty easy stuff, and you can mount the "hand" as well as the gun to the vehicle mode if you like.
This vehicle lacks the massive quantity of white of his G1 counterpart, but instead you get a bunch of printed detail. Lots of "RESCUE" markings are joined by a really cool life preserver with crossed anchors reading "AUTOBOT COASTAL RESCUE" on the fins near the back. Some painted white stripes are done well, cleanly, and without any red popping through. Deco is good, the blade on top spins, and the rear one is painted silver. It looks good, but it's decorative.
His default Combiner position is as an arm, and as you know with Alpha Bravo he makes a great limb regardless of its armness or legocity. The piece fits in to the larger Combiner Wars torso sockets perfectly and generally serves the function as a limb well. As an arm, you've got swivel biceps and a jointed elbow. As a leg, most of the jointing is at the tab so it's mostly a stump. But it's a useful stump.
If you didn't buy Alpha Bravo, you need blades. If you did buy Alpha Bravo, you probably also want Blades to put together a Defensor. It's a decent stand-alone toy, but with recent price increases it may not "wow" as much as previous, cheaper toys in this scale. I'm hoping they consider dropping the comics to cut a buck out of the price in the future, but given what's going on with the "third party" "toys" this is still a pretty fantastic item for the money. It's not a Marvel Legends figure, but it does a nice job of providing you with an entertaining toy that your kids would probably also enjoy. If they're older kids, they'll probably enjoy it a bunch until they find your Xbox One and then it's all over. He has the fewest new parts of his team, but it's not like it'd be greatly improved by a reshelling. It's a helicopter, and it's a decent one.
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